So you’re thinking about installing a brand new bathtub surround or a kitchen backsplash, and you’ve selected some gorgeous tile – maybe even the pricey imported kind – and the last thing you want to do is mess the whole project up by using some low-quality grout.
Well, we’ve done a little research here to provide you with some info about a couple of companies that actually manufacture the stuff that mortars those oh-so-expensive tiles together. Hopefully, this will ease your concerns so you can stop making excuses, er, we mean so that you can go on and get on the stick with that tile project you’ve been waiting so long to get started on.
If you’ve ever cruised the ceramic tile section at Lowe’s, there’s an excellent chance you may have noticed a grout manufactured by the Mapei Company. This company began in 1937 by Rodolfo Squinzi in Milan, Italy with a three-person workforce. It has since mushroomed into a huge, multinational corporation that encompasses a plethora of building products. Some of these include not only grout, but a slew of mortars, adhesives, sealants, concrete additives, waterproofing agents, and a host of other specialty building products.
Squinzi’s son, a graduate of chemistry, now heads the company. So you can rest assured this is no fly-by-night outfit and that the grout it produces is top of the line. You can visit this humongous company’s Web site at www.Mapei.com, but you’ll have to click on one of the company’s many flags to get to the country in which you wish to learn more about Mapei’s involvement there.
Another name you might run across at your favorite home improvement superstore while you’re considering grout choices is Laticrete. Founded by a man named Henry M. Rothberg, Laticrete’s fifty-year history includes being the first in its industry to make thinset adhesives, waterproofing membranes that are thin and load-bearing, offer warranties that include labor and materials, and offer products that feature antimicrobial protection.
The company’s latest and greatest product, SpectraLOCK PRO Grout, has fast become an industry standard. Visit the company Web site at www.Laticrete.com to learn all you’ll ever want to know about grout and everything else pertaining to tile and stone installation systems.
Here are a the names of few more gout manufacturers, most of them smaller and more specialized companies:
- Metalcrete Industries
L & M Construction Chemicals, Inc.
International Chem-Crete Corp.
Since grout is a relatively simple mixture consisting mainly of sand, cement, and colorant to which you can buy premixed with water already in it or add the water yourself, it’s seems a little much to be all that concerned with what company from which it is purchased. However, the ratios of sand to cement probably do vary from one company to the next, maybe even from one batch of grout mix to the next – who knows for sure?
But at least you now have the names of two highly reputable, trusted companies you can use to do your future grout shopping. But without having “bad grout” to blame for a failed project, take warning that the onus of doing a good job may fall squarely on you.